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Let’s face it – not everybody can be the best writer, lyricist or poet. But don’t let that put a stop to doing it anyway! National Bad Poetry Day is the perfect opportunity to read, write and create any type of poetry desired, even if it’s really bad. 

History of National Bad Poetry Day

Whether using sonnets, limericks, free verse or haiku, poetry certainly has the potential to be beautiful and powerful–but it can also be very, very awful.

Of course it’s true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, which probably also means that the judgment of what types of poetry are bad or good are relative based on personal preference. However, in some cases, poetry can just be so bad that everyone agrees that no good can come of it!

I should be glad
Bad poetry is just a fad
But nonetheless would like to say
I wish that it would go away.

National Bad Poetry Day was created to feature poetry that is so very bad it simply needs to be paid attention to! Twitter is one platform that many people use to get their bad poetry out into the world so that everyone can enjoy hating it.

It’s time to celebrate National Bad Poetry Day!

How to Celebrate National Bad Poetry Day

Enjoy and celebrate this rather weird day by investing some time in the honor and upholding of bad poetry. Try these ideas for celebrating this day:

Create Some Bad Poetry

National Bad Poetry Day encourages just about anyone to give it a go by putting pen to paper and writing some terrible verse. Sure, maybe it’s not coming from a professional poet, or a talented poet, but who cares? National Bad Poetry Day is all about offering to the world a few words on a page, rhyming or not, that can fall under the category of Bad Poetry.

It might be surprising how difficult it is to actually create bad poetry, but today is the day to give it a try!

Learn to Write Haiku–Badly

While Haiku can be a beautiful structure for lovely little pieces of poetry, it also can provide an opportunity to write ridiculously bad lines. Including three lines of five syllables, seven syllables, and then five syllables again, Haiku offers some excellent fodder for developing weird verses that are simply very bad! For inspiration, try this example by a man simply named “John” called A Piratical Poem: 

Yarr! Said the pirate, Sailing on the seven seas, Donuts in his beard 


Head Over to the Local Library

If ever there was a place to access poetry, the local library is probably it. Of course, bad poetry can also be found on the internet, but where’s the fun in that? There’s simply nothing quite like holding a physical copy of a bad poetry book in hand and reading it in a room where it’s frowned upon to actually laugh out loud!

Enjoy Some Bad Poetry Jokes 

If there ever was a day to tell bad jokes about poetry that will make friends and family groan, this is the day for it! Try out these ridiculous poetry jokes or come up with some other creative ones:

  • Question: What did the poet say to Luke Skywalker? Answer: Metaphors be with you.
  • Question: What do you get when you combine Robert Frost with James Bond? Answer: The Road Not Shaken But Stirred.
  • Question: How do poets say goodbye? Answer: “I’d like to linger a little longer, but it’s getting aliter-ate”
  • Question: What is it called when a man keeps walking around his lady reciting various odes to her? Answer: Poetry in Motion

Attend a Local Poetry Reading 

Many communities host Poetry Open Mic nights where local poets are invited to step up to the mic and give it their best shot. These may not all be filled only with bad poetry, of course, but it’s probably a good start for getting access to a few of the best bad poets around.

For a list of various poetry related events happening around the US, try the Academy of American Poets website:

Read Bad Poetry to Friends and Family

For those who are feeling particularly cruel, a great idea might be to read bad poetry to friends, family and colleagues; hopefully they’ll enjoy good poetry more in the future!

Try out these tongue-in-cheek books that were written and published specifically to appreciate the genre of bad poetry. These books could be certainly purchased for personal use or they would also make a really great gift for a friend with a penchant for bad poetry:

  • Very Bad Poetry, edited by Kathryn Petras and Ross Petras. This book contains a collection of 131 of the worst possible poems including titles such as “The Spleen” by Matthew Green or “An Elegy to a Dissected Puppy” by Georgia Bailey Parrington. It’s a pile full of genius wrapped up in something so bad it’s good.
  • B is for Bad Poetry, by Pamela August Russell. A hysterical bundle of poems that focus on mocking, chiding, ridiculing and joking about various aspects of the world around us.
  • Bad Poetry, by Steve Almond. This book is considered to be an encouragement to those who have tried to write good poetry and failed so much that it turned into bad poetry. Filled with painful failures that are sure to make the reader feel much better about their own attempts at poetry.
  • The Joy of Bad Verse, by Nicholas T. Parsons. In this book, the author uses the first section to examine the ‘varieties of badness’ and in the second half he offers a peek into the lives of the 15 ‘best of the worst’ poets and samples of their misguided attempts at poetry.

Host a Bad Poetry Writing Party

One super fun activity might be getting together with some friends or family (preferably those of the funny variety) to create some bad poetry in a group. Grab some pen and paper, a white board, or a computer and get to brainstorming about some of the most ridiculous topics that poetry could be written about.

Whether rhyming or not, weather using haiku or creating with the standard ten syllables of iambic pentameter, writing bad poetry can be the fun theme of a really stupid party!

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